DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) - A new take on an old idea may soon pay off big for businesses in De Pere.
Tom Gavic is the president of Credo, a company which does consulting work for small private colleges across the country. He's currently in the process of moving his offices to De Pere.
"We absolutely love the community," Gavic said. "We love everything De Pere has done to invest in the community up to this point."
But now, Gavic said it's time for some new leadership. He's also part of Downtown De Pere, Inc. It's a new group which focuses entirely on the promotion of downtown businesses. He calls it an off-shoot of the old Main Street program from the 1990's.
"De Pere took advantage of that," he explained. "In the 90's and early 2000's occupancy rates went from 15% to 85% or 90%, and then with any program like that it just gets in a lull."
"Now we've formed a new board to do a little bit more in terms of promotion, activities for the downtown here in De Pere," Scott Hemauer added.
Hemauer is also on the board for DOwntown De Pere, Inc. He said the group will work in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce..
"We're getting involved with St. Norbert College with SNC Days coming up this fall," he explained. "We've got some ideas around holiday decorations, enhancing the historical characteristics of the downtown."
The group did get some seed money from the city, but through fundraising and business involvement, they soon hope to be self-sustaining.
Gregg Johnson opened up Game Trade last year on Grant Street. He's excited about the possibilities a downtown organization could bring to his business.
"I think lately that the idea of a downtown has been missing in this city," Johnson said. "In Green Bay they really focus on downtown, so it's really cool to have some focus on downtown De Pere."
"We want to continue to grow it and make it a real destination spot for people to come," added Gavic.
For more information on Downtown De Pere, Inc., click here.